Malaysia will lift the moratium on Bangladeshi workers next month at the earliest, the South Asian nation’s Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran has said.
“I hope we can conclude within one or two months of the review on the moratorium that is now in the final stage, so that labour supply from Bangladesh can resume,” he told Maylsian newspaper The Star.
The country has sufferd after the ban on migrant workers from Bangladesh with the plantation and construction sectors being affected the most, reports The Star Online. The removal of the ban is expected to ease the labour woes.
The Foreign Worker Application System (SPPA) for Bangladeshi workers was suspended on Sep 1, 2018. Under the system, the reruitment process was only allowed to be carried out by 10 government approved agencies.
Bangladesh expects to reach a new agreement on the recruitment mechanism next month, said Imran Ahmad, Bangladesh’s minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.
He also assured that the new recruitment process will be transparent.
“It is a matter of time to make this system right. The old system is not working, so for the new system, we will get everybody involved and work on it. I think in August, there could be a solution,” The Star Online quoted Imran as saying.
Malaysia offers a big market for Bangladesh to export manpower. More than 500,000 Bangladeshi nationals work in Malaysia in different sectors, according to government data. But experts believe the actual number is higher.
In 2016, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in which Malaysia agreed to recruit workers from Bangladesh for five different sectors under the ‘government-to-government plus’ system.
Ten Bangladeshi recruitment agencies were permitted to send workers to Malaysia under the five year contract.
Since 2016, about 200,000 Bangladeshi workers went to Malaysia under this system compared to about 12,000 under the G2G between 2012 and 2016.
But the new Malaysian government said the whole process was “a total mess” and it resulted in the migrant workers paying exorbitant amounts of money to middlemen in both Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Malaysia decided to introduce a new recruitment system in August 2018 to provide equal opportunity to all countries to send manpower.